Cortland County Court Judge Julie Campbell had a tough task Thursday.
The typical reaction to fatal texting and driving accidents is a call for a stiff prison sentence.
Judge Campbell had to determine the sentence for a man from Moravia who caused a fatal crash in Homer on Halloween in 2014.
Tyler Bloodgood, 28, was driving a Town of Sempronius dump truck on Route 90 near Sweeney Road.
Police say he crossed lanes and hit a pickup head-on and killed a 38-year old man from Stamford, New York.
Bloodgood admitted his fatal mistake. He pleaded guilty to the top charge against him: manslaughter.
The maximum sentence is 5 to 15 years and the prosecution suggested 1 to 3 years in prison. But the final decision rested with Judge Campbell.
Before her sentence was announced, she allowed Bloodgood to speak to the court. He apologized, saying “if I could take everything back, I would.”
Judge Campbell noted several letters were sent on his behalf and another from the sister of the victim, who wrote about the loss of the father of her three young nephews. Bloodgood’s boss and the Chief of his volunteer fire department spoke in court on his behalf.
Judge Campbell said she realized, “Not everyone will agree with the sentence.” She ordered Bloodgood to report to the Cortland County Jail on Monday, May 1, to begin a six-month sentence, with five years’ probation and restrictions on his activities.
Campbell also mandated that Bloodgood perform 150 hours of community service, expecting him to high school students in Courtland County and the public about his mistake.
Bloodgood gave up his right to appeal.
He declined to speak with a reporter as he left the County Courthouse.